A Letter from Cantor Joshua Finkel, Spiritual Leader
I love being the spiritual guide at Shir Hadash because we are genuinely unique to the St. Louis area. In fact, we are the only Reconstructionist community in the entire State of Missouri! What does this mean? It means that when you visit us at The J in Creve Coeur, our home for worship and gatherings, you can expect to be greeted the minute you walk through the door. It means that you can expect to find a small, friendly group of folks from a variety of backgrounds.
On most Saturday mornings you can expect Shabbat services that are very musical – I am a Cantor after all – and a community that loves to sing. You can expect to find us in someone’s home one Friday night every month, relaxing and welcoming Shabbat with great food, good friends, and more lively discussion.
You can expect lively discussions – we like to ask the big questions – even though answers often elude us. You can expect to see folks who are questioning, searching and seeking. We take our Judaism quite seriously, but not ourselves. We’re a fun-loving group!
Is Reconstructionism foreign to you? It was for a lot of us as well. We come from a myriad of backgrounds – Reform, Conservative, Traditional, questioners, doubters, and seekers. As a Reconstructionist community, we understand Judaism as being more than a religion. We view Judaism as an ongoing civilization with a unique ethical responsibility to the world. We believe our expression of Judaism must have meaning and relevance to us as modern Americans, as well as Jews.
At Shir Hadash you can expect some worship practices and observances that are in keeping with Jewish tradition, and others that have been “reconstructed” to reflect our modern ethical and social understanding of the world in which we live. You can expect to be openly embraced by a fully inclusive community of individuals and families. You can also expect a community that understands that Judaism encompasses many different beliefs and approaches to a relationship with the Divine.
Most of all, you can expect to be part of a community that fully supports one another in times of joy and sorrow, and that works together to build lives full of music, light, joy and peace.
Come visit and see what we’re all about. You’ll find us most Saturday mornings in the Arts and Education Building (upper level) of The JCC in Creve Coeur. You will be glad you did!
Want to chat? The first cup of coffee or tea is on me!